Updated: Feb 26, 2021
In April 2020, the Head Teacher felt that staff needed a voice to express their concerns and challenges. Although the school was running at Ofsted ‘Good’ status, there were underlying problems affecting staff morale. Some members of staff had complained about the work life balance and stress levels.
Method The Head Teacher spoke to Response Star having being referred by another school who had carried out a successful survey. Whilst the PA to the Head Teacher had experience with Survey Monkey, it was recognised that the sensitive information was likely to be found in the free text areas of the survey which needed to remain unprompted. Also in this case the responses were expected to be of confidential matter and therefore the Head Teacher decided to outsource the project as a managed service. Solution
A brief was taken from the Head Teacher to determine what information was needed in response to the survey
Draft questions were drawn up by Response Star and after various edits, agreed by the Head Teacher.
A pilot scheme was run with 10 teachers. The pilot scheme identified that:
The pilot scheme invitations to the survey were caught by the school spam detector so settings were changed to allow them through.
Some changes to the wording were also suggested by the teachers in the pilot scheme as they felt uncomfortable by some of the phrases used.
Free Text questions in the pilot scheme were often left blank. It was hoped that these questions would be the most useful in collecting unprompted answers, therefore they were made mandatory instead of optional for the main survey.
The main survey was sent to all 50 teachers of which 45 responded.
A letter was sent with the survey explaining the project and it’s objectives.
The survey results were collected and presented to the Head Teacher and Governors by Response Star.
The summary outcomes were shared with the teachers in newsletter and poster formats which were displayed in the staffroom.
The Head Teacher learnt what the weaknesses were within the school. Although 88% of staff were happy in their roles, 70% wanted more training and improved development plans.
The results were communicated to staff and the plans were quickly implemented for training and development of staff. In some cases it was simply a matter of setting up and monitoring a formal appraisal system, others were more complicated as funding had to be arranged for courses to be attended.
Six months later the survey was carried out again and the 70% had reduced to 45% as staff could recognise that they had had extra training or that the training had been booked. Work continues at the school to ensure everyone feels they have enough support to do their role professionally.